Lewisham Speaking Up


Lewisham Speaking Up’s statement regarding BBC Panorama’s investigative documentary into abuse of people with learning disabilities at Whorlton Hall

Whorlton Hall Hospital

On behalf of our beneficiaries, our board, staff, and volunteers we would like to issue a statement regarding the appalling abuse of adults with learning disabilities at Whorlton Hall hospital uncovered by BBC Panorama, broadcast on 22 May.

We are saddened and angry to see the abhorrent treatment of vulnerable people by support workers who appear to be void of empathy and compassion. We were shocked to see support workers antagonising, intimidating, taunting, mocking, and physically harming people they were supposed to be caring for. We are deeply concerned that facilities such as this say they offer ‘specialist care’.

We do not understand why, after the Winterbourne View scandal eight years ago, people with learning disabilities are still being let down and abused so badly. Regrettably, this is in addition to the premature deaths recently revealed in the Leder report. Much more has to be done to make sure this really does not happen again: the human rights of people with a learning disability must be protected.

Lewisham Speaking Up will not tolerate any form of abuse against a person with a learning disability and we are committed to keeping people safe from harm.

We will be holding a special Big Group about this in June where people with learning disabilities in Lewisham will be invited to have their say and tell us what they think needs to be done. When people tell us what they want we will work with them, represent their views, and work with others to do our best to end this cruel treatment of people with learning disabilities.

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